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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



10243
Seneca The Younger, Letters, 121.12-121.13


nanMoreover, that very constitution of his own he only understands confusedly, cursorily, and darkly. We also know that we possess souls, but we do not know the essence, the place, the quality, or the source, of the soul. Such as is the consciousness of our souls which we possess, ignorant as we are of their nature and position, even so all animals possess a consciousness of their own constitutions. For they must necessarily feel this, because it is the same agency by which they feel other things also; they must necessarily have a feeling of the principle which they obey and by which they are controlled.


nanEveryone of us understands that there is something which stirs his impulses, but he does not know what it is. He knows that he has a sense of striving, although he does not know what it is or its source. Thus even children and animals have a consciousness of their primary element, but it is not very clearly outlined or portrayed.


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1. Cicero, On The Ends of Good And Evil, 3.16-3.17, 4.16-4.18, 5.16-5.27 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.16. Bene facis, inquit, quod me adiuvas, et istis quidem, quae modo dixisti, utar potius Latinis, in ceteris subvenies, si me haerentem videbis. Sedulo, inquam, faciam. sed 'fortuna fortis'; quare conare, quaeso. quid enim possumus hoc agere divinius? Placet his, inquit, quorum ratio mihi probatur, simulatque natum sit animal—hinc hinc RN hin A huic BEV enim est ordiendum ordiendum est BER —, ipsum sibi conciliari et commendari ad se conservandum et ad suum statum eaque, eaque Gz. eque ABERN et ad ea V quae conservantia sint sint Iw. Mue. II p. 19; sunt eius status, diligenda, alienari autem ab interitu iisque rebus, quae interitum videantur adferre. id ita esse sic probant, quod ante, quam voluptas aut dolor attigerit, salutaria appetant parvi aspernenturque contraria, quod non fieret, nisi statum suum diligerent, interitum timerent. fieri autem non posset ut appeterent aliquid, nisi sensum haberent sui eoque se diligerent. ex quo intellegi debet principium ductum esse a se diligendo. 3.17. in principiis autem naturalibus diligendi sui del. Urs plerique Stoici non putant voluptatem esse ponendam. quibus ego vehementer adsentior, ne, si voluptatem natura posuisse in iis rebus videatur, quae primae appetuntur, multa turpia sequantur. satis esse autem argumenti videtur quam ob rem illa, quae prima sunt adscita adscita asserta BE natura, diligamus, quod est nemo, quin, cum utrumvis liceat, aptas malit et integras omnis partis corporis quam, eodem usu, inminutas aut detortas habere. rerum autem cognitiones, quas vel comprehensiones vel perceptiones quas vel comprehensiones vel perceptiones BE om. ARNV vel, si haec verba aut minus placent aut minus intelleguntur, katalh/yeis appellemus licet, eas igitur ipsas propter se adsciscendas arbitramur, quod habeant quiddam in se quasi complexum et continens veritatem. id autem in in V om. rell. parvis intellegi potest, quos delectari videamus, etiamsi eorum nihil intersit, si quid ratione per se ipsi invenerint. 4.16. Omnis natura vult esse conservatrix sui, ut et salva sit et in genere conservetur suo. ad hanc rem aiunt artis quoque requisitas, quae naturam adiuvarent in quibus ea numeretur in primis, quae est vivendi quaest viden A In his syllabis desinit A additis verbis Multa desunt videndi N ars, ut tueatur, quod a natura datum sit, quod desit, adquirat. idemque diviserunt naturam hominis in animum et corpus. cumque eorum utrumque per se expetendum esse dixissent, virtutes quoque utriusque eorum per se expetendas esse dicebant, et cum animum infinita add. Lamb. quadam laude anteponerent corpori, virtutes quoque animi bonis corporis anteponebant. 4.17. Sed cum sapientiam totius hominis custodem et procuratricem esse vellent, quae esset naturae comes et adiutrix, hoc sapientiae munus esse dicebant, ut, cum eum tueretur, qui constaret add. Mdv. ex animo et corpore, in utroque iuvaret eum ac contineret. atque ita re simpliciter primo collocata reliqua subtilius persequentes corporis bona facilem quandam rationem habere censebant; de animi bonis accuratius exquirebant in primisque reperiebant inesse inesse R in esse NV esse BE in iis iustitiae semina primique ex omnibus philosophis natura tributum esse docuerunt, ut ii, qui procreati essent, a procreatoribus amarentur, et, id quod temporum ordine antiquius est, ut coniugia virorum et uxorum natura coniuncta esse dicerent, qua ex stirpe orirentur amicitiae cognationum. Atque ab his initiis profecti omnium virtutum et originem et progressionem persecuti sunt. ex quo magnitudo quoque animi existebat, qua facile posset repugnari obsistique fortunae, quod maximae res essent in potestate sapientis. varietates autem iniuriasque fortunae facile veterum philosophorum praeceptis instituta vita superabat. 4.18. Principiis autem a natura datis amplitudines quaedam bonorum excitabantur partim profectae a contemplatione rerum occultiorum, occultorum R quod erat insitus menti cognitionis amor, e quo etiam rationis explicandae disserendique cupiditas consequebatur; quodque hoc solum animal natum est pudoris ac verecundiae particeps appetensque coniunctionum coniunctionum RNV coniunctium (coniunct iu pro coniunct iu m = coniunctionum) BE hominum ad ad R et B ac ENV societatem societatem R societatum BENV cf. III 66 inter nos natura ad civilem communitatem coniuncti et consociati sumus et p. 128, 15 sq., ubi de cognitione rerum respicit ad p. 127,23 (erat insitus menti cognitionis amor) et de coniunctione generis humani ad p. 127, 26 sq. (coniunctionum hominum ad societatem) animadvertensque in omnibus rebus, quas ageret aut aut RN 2 ut BEN 1 V diceret, ut ne quid ab eo fieret nisi honeste ac ac BER et NV decore, his initiis, ut ante dixi, et et V om. BERN ( ad initiis, ut ante dixi, et seminibus cf. p. 127, 14 et 9 ) seminibus a natura datis temperantia, modestia, iustitia et omnis honestas perfecte absoluta est. 5.16. ex quo, id quod omnes expetunt, beate vivendi ratio inveniri et comparari potest. quod quoniam in quo sit magna dissensio est, Carneadea carneadia BENV nobis adhibenda divisio est, qua noster Antiochus libenter uti solet. ille igitur vidit, non modo quot fuissent adhuc philosophorum de summo bono, sed quot omnino esse possent sententiae. negabat igitur ullam esse artem, quae ipsa a se proficisceretur; etenim semper illud extra est, quod arte comprehenditur. nihil opus est exemplis hoc facere longius. est enim perspicuum nullam artem ipsam in se versari, sed esse aliud artem ipsam, aliud quod propositum sit arti. quoniam igitur, ut medicina valitudinis, navigationis gubernatio, sic vivendi ars est prudentia, necesse est eam quoque ab aliqua re esse constitutam et profectam. 5.17. constitit autem fere inter omnes id, in quo prudentia versaretur et quod assequi vellet, aptum et accommodatum naturae esse oportere et tale, ut ipsum per se invitaret et alliceret appetitum animi, quem o(rmh o(rmh/n ] bonū R Graeci vocant. quid autem sit, quod ita moveat itaque a natura in primo ortu appetatur, non constat, deque eo est inter philosophos, cum summum bonum exquiritur, omnis dissensio. totius enim quaestionis eius, quae habetur de finibus bonorum et malorum, cum quaeritur, in his quid sit extremum et ultimum, et quid ultimum BE fons reperiendus est, in quo sint prima invitamenta naturae; quo invento omnis ab eo quasi capite de summo bono et malo disputatio ducitur. Voluptatis alii primum appetitum putant et primam depulsionem doloris. vacuitatem doloris alii censent primum ascitam ascitam cod. Glogav., Mdv. ; ascitum RV as|scitum N assertum BE et primum declinatum dolorem. 5.18. ab iis iis Lamb. 2, Mdv. ; his alii, quae prima secundum naturam nomit, proficiscuntur, in quibus numerant incolumitatem conservationemque omnium partium, valitudinem, sensus integros, doloris vacuitatem, viris, pulchritudinem, cetera generis eiusdem, quorum similia sunt prima prima om. R in animis quasi virtutum igniculi et semina. Ex his tribus cum unum aliquid aliquid Wes. aliquod sit, quo primum primum dett. prima BE primo RNV natura moveatur vel ad appetendum vel ad ad ( prius ) om. BERN repellendum, nec quicquam omnino praeter haec tria possit esse, necesse est omnino officium aut fugiendi aut sequendi ad eorum aliquid aliquod BE referri, ut illa prudentia, quam artem vitae esse diximus, in earum trium rerum aliqua versetur, a qua totius vitae ducat exordium. 5.19. ex eo autem, quod statuerit esse, quo primum natura moveatur, existet recti etiam ratio atque honesti, quae cum uno aliquo aliquo uno BE ex tribus illis congruere possit, possit. u aut non dolendi ita sit ut quanta ( v. 19 ) R rell. om. ut aut id honestum sit, facere omnia aut voluptatis causa, etiam si eam secl. Mdv. non consequare, aut non dolendi, etiam etiam N 2 in ras., aut BEV si id assequi nequeas, aut eorum, quae secundum naturam sunt, adipiscendi, etiam si nihil consequare. ita ita N 2 aut non dolendi ita R ( cf. ad v. 14 ), N 1 V; aut nichil dolendi ita BE fit ut, quanta differentia est in principiis naturalibus, tanta sit in finibus bonorum malorumque dissimilitudo. alii rursum isdem a principiis omne officium referent aut ad voluptatem aut ad non dolendum aut ad prima illa secundum naturam optinenda. 5.20. expositis iam igitur sex de summo bono sententiis trium proximarum hi principes: voluptatis Aristippus, non dolendi Hieronymus, fruendi rebus iis, quas primas secundum naturam esse diximus, Carneades non ille quidem auctor, sed defensor disserendi causa fuit. superiores tres erant, quae esse possent, quarum est una sola defensa, eaque vehementer. nam voluptatis causa facere omnia, cum, etiamsi nihil consequamur, tamen ipsum illud consilium ita faciendi per se expetendum et honestum et solum bonum sit, nemo dixit. ne vitationem quidem doloris ipsam per se quisquam in rebus expetendis putavit, nisi nisi Urs. ne si etiam evitare posset. at vero facere omnia, ut adipiscamur, quae secundum naturam sint, sunt BE etiam si ea non assequamur, id esse et honestum et solum per se expetendum et solum bonum Stoici dicunt. 5.21. Sex igitur hae hee E, h (= haec) R summo BERNV summa dett. sunt simplices de summo bonorum malorumque sententiae, duae sine patrono, quattuor defensae. quatuor defense quatuor BE iunctae autem et duplices expositiones summi boni tres omnino fuerunt, nec vero plures, si penitus rerum naturam videas, esse potuerunt. nam aut voluptas adiungi potest ad honestatem, ut Calliphonti Dinomachoque placuit, aut doloris vacuitas, ut Diodoro, aut prima naturae, ut antiquis, quos eosdem Academicos et Peripateticos nominavimus. nominavimus BER ( cf. p. 158, 30 sqq. ) nominamus NV sed quoniam quoniam q uo R non possunt omnia simul dici, haec in praesentia nota esse debebunt, voluptatem semovendam esse, quando ad maiora quaedam, ut iam apparebit, nati sumus. de vacuitate doloris eadem fere dici solent, quae de voluptate. Quando igitur et de voluptate secl. Nissenius ( sec. Gz. ); cf. Muret. var. lect. 14, 20 cum Torquato et de honestate, in qua una omne bonum poneretur, cum Catone est disputatum, primum, quae contra voluptatem dicta sunt, eadem fere cadunt contra vacuitatem doloris. 5.22. nec vero alia sunt quaerenda contra Carneadeam illam sententiam. quocumque enim modo summum bonum sic exponitur, ut id vacet honestate, nec officia nec virtutes in ea ratione nec amicitiae constare possunt. coniunctio autem cum honestate vel voluptatis vel non dolendi id ipsum honestum, quod amplecti vult, id id ( post vult) om. RNV efficit turpe. ad eas enim res referre, quae agas, quarum una, si quis malo careat, in summo eum bono dicat esse, altera versetur in levissima parte naturae, obscurantis est omnem splendorem honestatis, ne dicam inquitis. Restant Stoici, qui cum a Peripateticis et Academicis omnia transtulissent, nominibus aliis easdem res secuti sunt. hos contra singulos dici est melius. sed nunc, quod quod quid BE quid (= quidem) R agimus; 5.23. de illis, cum volemus. Democriti autem securitas, quae est animi tamquam tamquam (tanquā R) tranquillitas RN tranquillitas tamquam BE tranquillitas ( om. tamquam) V tranquillitas, quam appellant eu)qumi/an, eo separanda fuit ab hac disputatione, quia ista animi tranquillitas ea ipsa secl. Se. est est ipsa BE beata vita; quaerimus autem, non quae sit, sit ( utroque loco ) dett. sint sed unde sit. Iam explosae eiectaeque sententiae Pyrrhonis, Aristonis, Erilli quod in hunc orbem, quem circumscripsimus, incidere non possunt, adhibendae omnino non fuerunt. nam cum omnis haec quaestio de finibus et quasi de extremis bonorum et malorum ab eo proficiscatur, quod diximus diximus p. 163, 16 sqq. naturae esse aptum et accommodatum, quodque ipsum per se primum appetatur, hoc totum et ii tollunt, qui in rebus iis, in quibus nihil quod non aut honestum aut turpe sit, negant esse del. Lamb. ullam causam, cur aliud alii anteponatur, nec inter eas res quicquam quicquam quitquid BE omnino putant interesse, et Erillus, si ita sensit, nihil esse bonum praeter scientiam, omnem consilii capiendi causam inventionemque officii sustulit. Sic exclusis sententiis reliquorum cum praeterea nulla esse possit, haec antiquorum valeat necesse est. ergo ergo igitur BE instituto veterum, quo etiam Stoici utuntur, hinc capiamus exordium. 5.24. Omne animal se ipsum diligit ac, simul et ortum est, id agit, se ut ut se BE conservet, quod hic ei primus ad omnem vitam tuendam appetitus a natura datur, se ut conservet atque ita sit affectum, ut optime secundum naturam affectum esse possit. hanc initio institutionem confusam habet et incertam, ut tantum modo se tueatur, qualecumque sit, sed nec quid sit nec quid possit nec quid ipsius natura sit intellegit. cum autem processit paulum et quatenus quicquid se attingat ad seque pertineat perspicere coepit, tum sensim incipit progredi seseque agnoscere et intellegere quam ob ob N 2 ad causam habeat habeat Lamb. habet eum, quem diximus, animi appetitum coeptatque et ea, quae naturae sentit apta, appetere et propulsare contraria. ergo omni animali illud, quod appetit, positum est in eo, quod naturae nature V natura ( etiam B) est accommodatum. ita finis bonorum existit secundum naturam vivere sic affectum, ut optime affici possit ad naturamque que ER et NV om. B accommodatissime. 5.25. Quoniam Quoniam Q uo R autem sua cuiusque animantis natura est, necesse est finem quoque omnium hunc esse, ut natura expleatur—nihil enim prohibet quaedam esse et inter se animalibus reliquis et cum bestiis homini communia, quoniam omnium est natura communis—, sed extrema illa et summa, quae quaerimus, inter animalium genera distincta et dispertita sint sunt RNV et sua cuique propria et ad id apta, quod cuiusque natura desideret. desiderat RNV 5.26. quare cum dicimus omnibus animalibus extremum esse secundum naturam vivere, non ita accipiendum est, quasi dicamus unum esse omnium extremum, sed ut omnium artium recte dici potest commune esse, ut in aliqua scientia versentur, scientiam autem suam cuiusque artis esse, sic commune animalium omnium secundum naturam vivere, sed naturas esse diversas, ut aliud equo sit e natura, aliud bovi, aliud homini. et tamen in omnibus est est V om. BERN 'Vellem in transitu ab infinita oratione ad finitam scriberetur : summa communis est et quidem cet.' Mdv. summa communis, et quidem non solum in animalibus, sed etiam in rebus omnibus iis, quas natura alit, auget, tuetur, in quibus videmus ea, quae gignuntur e terra, multa quodam modo efficere ipsa sibi per se, quae ad vivendum crescendumque valeant, ut ut ( ante suo) Bentl. et in suo genere 'in suo genere scribendum videtur' C.F. W. Mue. in adn. crit. perveniant ad extremum; ut iam liceat una comprehensione omnia complecti non dubitantemque dicere omnem naturam esse servatricem conservatricem R sui idque habere propositum quasi finem et extremum, se ut custodiat quam in optimo sui generis statu; ut necesse sit omnium rerum, quae natura vigeant, similem esse finem, non eundem. ex quo intellegi debet homini id esse in bonis ultimum, secundum naturam vivere, quod ita interpretemur: vivere ex hominis natura undique perfecta et nihil requirente. 5.27. haec igitur nobis explicanda sunt, sed si enodatius, vos ignoscetis. huius enim aetati haec igitur ... aetati Non. p. 15 ignoscetis cuius aetatis Non. et huic nunc haec primum haec primum R primum hoc ( ante primum ras., in qua cognosc. h) N 2 hic primum BE hoc primum V fortasse secl. Mdv. audientis audientis Mdv. audienti (audiendi E) servire debemus. Ita prorsus, inquam; etsi ea quidem, quae adhuc dixisti, quamvis ad aetatem recte isto modo dicerentur. Exposita igitur, inquit, inquit om. BE terminatione rerum expetendarum cur ista se res ita habeat, ut dixi, deinceps demonstrandum est. quam ob rem ordiamur ab eo, quod primum posui, quod idem reapse reapse re ab se primum est, ut intellegamus omne animal se ipsum diligere. diligere N 2 V diligi BERN 1 quod quamquam dubitationem non habet—est enim infixum in ipsa natura comprehenditur que suis add. Crat. natura ac comprehenditur suis Alanus cuiusque sensibus sic, ut, contra si quis dicere velit, non audiatur—, tamen, ne quid praetermittamus, rationes quoque, cur hoc ita sit, afferendas puto. 3.16.  "Thanks for your assistance," he said. "I certainly shall use for choice the Latin equivalents you have just given; and in other cases you shall come to my aid if you see me in difficulties." "I'll do my best," I replied; "but fortune favours the bold, so pray make the venture. What sublimer occupation could we find?" He began: "It is the view of those whose system I adopt, that immediately upon birth (for that is the proper point to start from) a living creature feels an attachment for itself, and an impulse to preserve itself and to feel affection for its own constitution and for those things which tend to preserve that constitution; while on the other hand it conceives an antipathy to destruction and to those things which appear to threaten destruction. In proof of this opinion they urge that infants desire things conducive to their health and reject things that are the opposite before they have ever felt pleasure or pain; this would not be the case, unless they felt an affection for their own constitution and were afraid of destruction. But it would be impossible that they should feel desire at all unless they possessed self-consciousness, and consequently felt affection for themselves. This leads to the conclusion that it is love of self which supplies the primary impulse to action. 3.17.  Pleasure on the contrary, according to most Stoics, is not to be reckoned among the primary objects of natural impulse; and I very strongly agree with them, for fear lest many immoral consequences would follow if we held that nature has placed pleasure among the earliest objects of desire. But the fact of our affection for the objects first adopted at nature's prompting seems to require no further proof than this, that there is no one who, given the choice, would not prefer to have all the parts of his body sound and whole, rather than maimed or distorted although equally serviceable. "Again, acts of cognition (which we may term comprehensions or perceptions, or, if these words are distasteful or obscure, katalēpseis), — these we consider meet to be adopted for their own sake, because they possess an element that so to speak embraces and contains the truth. This can be seen in the case of children, whom we may observe to take pleasure in finding something out for themselves by the use of reason, even though they gain nothing by it. 4.16.  "Every natural organism aims at being its own preserver, so as to secure its safety and also its preservation true to its specific type. With this object, they declare, man has called in the aid of the arts also to assist nature; and chief among them is counted the art of living, which helps him to guard the gifts that nature has bestowed and to obtain those that are lacking. They further divided the nature of man into soul and body. Each of these parts they pronounced to be desirable for its own sake, and consequently they said that the virtues also of each were desirable for their own sakes; at the same time they extolled the soul as infinitely surpassing the body in worth, and accordingly placed the virtues also of the mind above the goods of the body. 4.17.  But they held that wisdom is the guardian and protectress of the whole man, as being the comrade and helper of nature, and so they said that the function of wisdom, as protecting a being that consisted of a mind and a body, was to assist and preserve him in respect of both. After thus laying the first broad foundations of the theory, they went on to work it out in greater detail. The goods of the body, they held, required no particular explanation, but the goods of the soul they investigated with more elaboration, finding in the first place that in them lay the germs of Justice; and they were the first of any philosophers to teach that the love of parents for their offspring is a provision of nature; and that nature, so they pointed out, has ordained the union of men and women in marriage, which is prior in order of time, and is the root of all the family affections. Starting from these first principles they traced out the origin and growth of all the virtues. From the same source was developed loftiness of mind, which could render us proof against the assaults of fortune, because the things that matter were under the control of the Wise Man; whereas to the vicissitudes and blows of fortune a life directed by the precepts of the old philosophers could easily rise superior. 4.18.  Again, from the elements given by nature arose certain lofty excellences, springing partly from the contemplation of the secrets of nature, since the mind possessed an innate love of knowledge, whence also resulted the passion for argument and for discussion; and also, since man is the only animal endowed with a sense of modesty and shame, with a desire for intercourse and society with his fellows, and with a scrupulous care in all his words and actions to avoid any conduct that is not honourable and seemly, from these beginnings or germs, as I called them before, of nature's bestowal, were developed Temperance, Self-control, Justice and moral virtue generally in full flower and perfection. 5.16.  and therefore have discovered a standard to which each action may be referred; and from this we can discover and construct that rule of happiness which all desire. "Now there is great difference of opinion as to what constitutes the Chief Good. Let us therefore adopt the classification of Carneades, which our teacher Antiochus is very fond of employing. Carneades passed in review all the opinions as of that Chief Good, not only that actually had been held by philosophers hitherto, but that it was possible to hold. He then pointed out that no science or art can supply its own starting-point; its subject-matter must always lie outside it. There is no need to enlarge upon or illustrate this point; for it is evident that no art is occupied with itself: the art is distinct from the subject with which it deals; since therefore, as medicine is the art of health and navigation the art of sailing the ship, so Prudence or Practical Wisdom is the art of conduct, it follows that Prudence also must have something as its base and point of departure. 5.17.  Now practically all have agreed that the subject with which Prudence is occupied and the end which it desires to attain is bound to be something intimately adapted to our nature; it must be capable of directly arousing and awakening an impulse of desire, what in Greek is called hormē. But what it is that at the first moment of our existence excites in our nature this impulse of desire — as to this there is no agreement. It is at this point that all the difference of opinion among students of the ethical problem arises. of the whole inquiry into the Ends of Goods and Evils and the question which among them is ultimate and final, the fountain-head is to be found in the earliest instincts of nature; discover these and you have the source of the stream, the starting-point of the debate as to the Chief Good and Evil. 5.18.  "One school holds that our earliest desire is for pleasure and our earliest repulsion is from pain; another thinks that freedom from pain is the earliest thing welcomed, and pain the earliest thing avoided; others again start from what they term the primary objects in accordance with nature, among which they reckon the soundness and safety of all the parts of the body, health, perfect senses, freedom from pain, strength, beauty and the like, analogous to which are the primary intellectual excellences which are the sparks and seeds of the virtues. Now it must be one or other of these three sets of things which first excites our nature to feel desire or repulsion; nor can it be anything whatsoever beside these three things. It follows therefore that every right act of avoidance or of pursuit is aimed at one of these objects, and that consequently one of these three must form the subject-matter of Prudence, which we spoke of as the art of life; from one of the three Prudence derives the initial motive of the whole of conduct. 5.19.  "Now, from whichever Prudence decides to be the object of the primary natural impulses, will arise a theory of right and of Moral Worth which may correspond with one or other of the three objects aforesaid. Thus Morality will consist either in aiming all our actions at pleasure, even though one may not succeed in attaining it; or at absence of pain, even though one is unable to secure it; or at getting the things in accordance with nature, even though one does not attain any of them. Hence there is a divergence between the different conceptions of the Ends of Goods and Evils, precisely equivalent to the difference of opinion as to the primary natural objects. — Others again starting from the same primary objects will make the sole standard of right action the actual attainment of pleasure, freedom from pain, or the primary things in accordance with nature, respectively. 5.20.  "Thus we have now set forth six views as to the Chief Good. The leading upholders of the latter three are: of pleasure, Aristippus; of freedom from pain, Hieronymus; of the enjoyment of what we have called the primary things in accordance with nature, Carneades, — that is, he did not originate this view but he upheld it for purposes of argument. The three former were possible views, but only one of them has been actually maintained, though that with great vigour. No one has asserted pleasure to be the sole aim of action in the sense that the mere intention of attaining pleasure, although unsuccessful, is in itself desirable and moral and the only good. Nor yet has anyone held that the effort to avoid pain is in itself a thing desirable, without one's being able actually to avoid it. On the other hand, that morality consists in using every endeavour to obtain the things in accordance with nature, and that this endeavour even though unsuccessful is itself the sole thing desirable and the sole good, is actually maintained by the Stoics. 5.21.  "These then are the six simple views about the End of Goods and Evils; two of them without a champion, and four actually upheld. of composite or dualistic definitions of the Supreme Good there have been three in all; nor were more than three possible, if you examine the nature of the case closely. There is the combination of Morality with pleasure, adopted by Callipho and Dinomachus; with freedom from pain, by Diodorus; or with the primary objects of nature, the view of the ancients, as we entitle both the Academics and the Peripatetics."But it is impossible to set forth the whole of our position at once; so for the present we need only notice that pleasure must be discarded, on the ground that, as will be shown later, we are intended by nature for greater things. Freedom from pain is open to practically the same objections as pleasure. 5.22.  Nor need we look for other arguments to refute the opinion of Carneades; for any conceivable account of the Chief Good which does not include the factor of Moral Worth gives a system under which there is no room either for duty, virtue or friendship. Moreover the combination with Moral Worth either of pleasure or of freedom from pain debases the very morality that it aims at supporting. For to uphold two standards of conduct jointly, one of which declares freedom from evil to be the Supreme Good, while the other is a thing concerned with the most frivolous part of our nature, is to dim, if not to defile, all the radiance of Moral Worth. There remain the Stoics, who took over their whole system from the Peripatetics and the Academics, adopting the same ideas under other names. "The best way to deal with these different schools would be to refute each separately; but for the present we must keep to the business in hand; we will discuss these other schools at our leisure. 5.23.  "The calmness or tranquillity of mind which is the Chief Good of Democritus, euthumia as he calls it, has had to be excluded from this discussion, because this mental tranquillity is in itself the happiness in question; and we are inquiring not what happiness is, but what produces it. Again, the discredited and abandoned theories of Pyrrho, Aristo and Erillus cannot be brought within the circle we have drawn, and so we have not been concerned to consider them at all. For the whole of this inquiry into the Ends or, so to speak, the limits of Goods and Evils must begin from that which we have spoken of as adapted and suited to nature and which is the earliest object of desire for its own sake; now this is entirely done away with by those who maintain that, in the sphere of things which contain no element of Moral Worth or baseness, there is no reason why any one thing should be preferred to any other, and who consider these things to be absolutely indifferent; and Erillus also, if he actually held that there is nothing good but knowledge, destroyed every motive of rational action and every clue to right conduct. "Thus we have eliminated the views of all the other philosophers; and no other view is possible; therefore this doctrine of the Ancients must hold good. Let us then follow the practice of the old philosophers, adopted also by the Stoics, and start as follows. 5.24.  "Every living creature loves itself, and from the moment of birth strives to secure its own preservation; because the earliest impulse bestowed on it by nature for its life-long protection is the instinct for self-preservation and for the maintece of itself in the best condition possible to it in accordance with its nature. At the outset this tendency is vague and uncertain, so that it merely aims at protecting itself whatever its character may be; it does not understand itself nor its own capacities and nature. When, however, it has grown a little older, and has begun to understand the degree in which different things affect and concern itself, it now gradually commences to make progress. Self-consciousness dawns, and the creature begins to comprehend the reason why it possesses the instinctive appetition aforesaid, and to try to obtain the things which it perceives to be adapted to its nature and to repel their opposites. Every living creature therefore finds its object of appetition in the thing suited to its nature. Thus arises The End of Goods, namely to live in accordance with nature and in that condition which is the best and most suited to nature that is possible. 5.25.  At the same time every animal has its own nature; and consequently, while for all alike the End consists in the realization of their nature (for there is no reason why certain things should not be common to all the lower animals, and also to the lower animals and man, since all have a common nature), yet the ultimate and supreme objects that we are investigating must be differentiated and distributed among the different kinds of animals, each kind having its own peculiar to itself and adapted to the requirements of its individual nature. 5.26.  Hence when we say that the End of all living creatures is to live in accordance with nature, this must not be construed as meaning that all have one and the same end; but just as it is correct to say that all the arts and sciences have the common characteristic of occupying themselves with some branch of knowledge, while each art has its own particular branch of knowledge belonging to it, so all animals have the common End of living according to nature, but their natures are diverse, so that one thing is in accordance with nature for the horse, another for the ox, and another for man, and yet in all the Supreme End is common, and that not only in animals but also in all those things upon which nature bestows nourishment, increase and protection. Among these things we notice that plants can, in a sense, perform on their own behalf a number of actions conducive to their life and growth, so that they may attain their End after their kind. So that finally we may embrace all animate existence in one broad generalization, and say without hesitation, that all nature is self-preserving, and has before it the end and aim of maintaining itself in the best possible condition after its kind; and that consequently all things endowed by nature with life have a similar, but not an identical, End. This leads to the inference, that the ultimate Good of man is life in accordance with nature, which we may interpret as meaning life in accordance with human nature developed to its full perfection and supplied with all its needs. 5.27.  This, then, is the theory that we have to expound; but if it requires a good deal of explanation, you will receive it with forbearance. For this is perhaps the first time that Lucius has heard the subject debated, and we must make allowance for his youth." "Very true," said I; "albeit the style of your discourse so far has been suited to hearers of any age.""Well then," he resumed, "having explained what the principle is which determines what things are desirable, I have next to show why the matter is as I have stated. Let us therefore begin from the position which I laid down first and which is also first in the order of reality: let us understand that every living creature loves itself. The fact that this is so admits of no doubt, for indeed it is a fundamental fact of nature, and one that everybody can grasp for himself by the evidence of his senses, so much so that did anyone choose to deny it, he would not get a hearing; nevertheless, so that no step may be omitted, I suppose I ought also to give reasons why it is so.
2. Cicero, On Invention, 2.21 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

2.21. et hoc eum magno opere consi- derare oportebit, non quid in veritate modo, verum etiam vehementius, quid in opinione eius, quem arguet, fuerit. nihil enim refert non fuisse aut non esse aliquid commodi aut incommodi, si ostendi potest ei visum esse, qui arguatur. nam opinio dupliciter fallit ho- mines, cum aut res alio modo est, ac putatur, aut non is eventus est, quem arbitrati sunt. res alio modo est tum, cum aut id, quod bonum est, malum putant, aut contra, quod malum est, bonum, aut, quod nec malum est nec bonum, malum aut bonum, aut, quod malum aut bonum est, nec malum nec bonum.
3. Cicero, On Duties, 3.16-3.17, 4.16-4.18, 5.16-5.27 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3.16. Itaque iis omnes, in quibus est virtutis indoles, commoventur. Nec vero, cum duo Decii aut duo Scipiones fortes viri commemorantur, aut cum Fabricius aut Aristides iustus nominatur, aut ab illis fortitudinis aut ab hoc iustitiae tamquam a sapiente petitur exemplum; nemo enim horum sic sapiens, ut sapientem volumus intellegi, nec ii, qui sapientes habiti et nominati, M. Cato et C. Laelius, sapientes fuerunt, ne illi quidem septem, sed ex mediorum officiorum frequentia similitudinem quandam gerebant speciemque sapientium. 3.17. Quocirca nec id, quod vere honestum est, fas est cum utilitatis repugtia comparari, nec id, quod communiter appellamus honestum, quod colitur ab iis, qui bonos se viros haberi volunt, cum emolumentis umquam est comparandum, tamque id honestum, quod in nostram intellegentiam cadit, tuendum conservandumque nobis est quam illud, quod proprie dicitur vereque est honestum, sapientibus; aliter enim teneri non potest, si qua ad virtutem est facta progressio. Sed haec quidem de iis, qui conservatione officiorum existimantur boni. 3.16.  Accordingly, such duties appeal to all men who have a natural disposition to virtue. And when the two Decii or the two Scipios are mentioned as "brave men" or Fabricius is called "the just," it is not at all that the former are quoted as perfect models of courage or the latter as a perfect model of justice, as if we had in one of them the ideal "wise man." For no one of them was wise in the sense in which we wish to have "wise" understood; neither were Marcus Cato and Gaius Laelius wise, though they were so considered and were surnamed "the wise." Not even the famous Seven were "wise." But because of their constant observance of "mean" duties they bore a certain semblance and likeness to wise men. 3.17.  For these reasons it is unlawful either to weigh true morality against conflicting expediency, or common morality, which is cultivated by those who wish to be considered good men, against what is profitable; but we every-day people must observe and live up to that moral right which comes within the range of our comprehension as jealously as the truly wise men have to observe and live up to that which is morally right in the technical and true sense of the word. For otherwise we cannot maintain such progress as we have made in the direction of virtue. So much for those who have won a reputation for being good men by their careful observance of duty.
4. Cicero, Academica Posteriora, 1.22-1.23 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

5. Epictetus, Discourses, 1.6.16-1.6.21, 1.19.15, 2.22.15, 3.24.11 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Plutarch, On Stoic Self-Contradictions, None (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Plutarch, Placita Philosophorum (874D-911C), 4.12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Seneca The Younger, Letters, 117.13, 121.6-121.11, 121.13-121.17, 121.19-121.20, 121.24 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

9. Galen, On The Doctrines of Hippocrates And Plato, 2.5.69-2.5.70 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10. Galen, On The Usefulness of Respiration, 4.502 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Hierocles Stoicus, , 4.38-4.53 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

12. Sextus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, 2.70 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

13. Sextus Empiricus, Against Those In The Disciplines, 7.161-7.163, 7.228-7.231, 7.372, 8.400 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

14. Calcidius (Chalcidius), Platonis Timaeus Commentaria, 220 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

15. Diogenes Laertius, Lives of The Philosophers, 7.50-7.51, 7.57, 7.63, 7.85-7.86 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

7.50. There is a difference between the process and the outcome of presentation. The latter is a semblance in the mind such as may occur in sleep, while the former is the act of imprinting something on the soul, that is a process of change, as is set forth by Chrysippus in the second book of his treatise of the Soul (De anima). For, says he, we must not take impression in the literal sense of the stamp of a seal, because it is impossible to suppose that a number of such impressions should be in one and the same spot at one and the same time. The presentation meant is that which comes from a real object, agrees with that object, and has been stamped, imprinted and pressed seal-fashion on the soul, as would not be the case if it came from an unreal object. 7.51. According to them some presentations are data of sense and others are not: the former are the impressions conveyed through one or more sense-organs; while the latter, which are not data of sense, are those received through the mind itself, as is the case with incorporeal things and all the other presentations which are received by reason. of sensuous impressions some are from real objects and are accompanied by yielding and assent on our part. But there are also presentations that are appearances and no more, purporting, as it were, to come from real objects.Another division of presentations is into rational and irrational, the former being those of rational creatures, the latter those of the irrational. Those which are rational are processes of thought, while those which are irrational have no name. Again, some of our impressions are scientific, others unscientific: at all events a statue is viewed in a totally different way by the trained eye of a sculptor and by an ordinary man. 7.57. Seven of the letters are vowels, a, e, ē i, o, u, ō, and six are mutes, b, g, d, k, p, t. There is a difference between voice and speech; because, while voice may include mere noise, speech is always articulate. Speech again differs from a sentence or statement, because the latter always signifies something, whereas a spoken word, as for example βλίτυρι, may be unintelligible – which a sentence never is. And to frame a sentence is more than mere utterance, for while vocal sounds are uttered, things are meant, that is, are matters of discourse. 7.63. To the department dealing with things as such and things signified is assigned the doctrine of expressions, including those which are complete in themselves, as well as judgements and syllogisms and that of defective expressions comprising predicates both direct and reversed.By verbal expression they mean that of which the content corresponds to some rational presentation. of such expressions the Stoics say that some are complete in themselves and others defective. Those are defective the enunciation of which is unfinished, as e.g. writes, for we inquire Who? Whereas in those that are complete in themselves the enunciation is finished, as Socrates writes. And so under the head of defective expressions are ranged all predicates, while under those complete in themselves fall judgements, syllogisms, questions, and inquiries. 7.85. An animal's first impulse, say the Stoics, is to self-preservation, because nature from the outset endears it to itself, as Chrysippus affirms in the first book of his work On Ends: his words are, The dearest thing to every animal is its own constitution and its consciousness thereof; for it was not likely that nature should estrange the living thing from itself or that she should leave the creature she has made without either estrangement from or affection for its own constitution. We are forced then to conclude that nature in constituting the animal made it near and dear to itself; for so it comes to repel all that is injurious and give free access to all that is serviceable or akin to it. 7.86. As for the assertion made by some people that pleasure is the object to which the first impulse of animals is directed, it is shown by the Stoics to be false. For pleasure, if it is really felt, they declare to be a by-product, which never comes until nature by itself has sought and found the means suitable to the animal's existence or constitution; it is an aftermath comparable to the condition of animals thriving and plants in full bloom. And nature, they say, made no difference originally between plants and animals, for she regulates the life of plants too, in their case without impulse and sensation, just as also certain processes go on of a vegetative kind in us. But when in the case of animals impulse has been superadded, whereby they are enabled to go in quest of their proper aliment, for them, say the Stoics, Nature's rule is to follow the direction of impulse. But when reason by way of a more perfect leadership has been bestowed on the beings we call rational, for them life according to reason rightly becomes the natural life. For reason supervenes to shape impulse scientifically.
16. Eusebius of Caesarea, Preparation For The Gospel, 15.20.2 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

17. Origen, On First Principles, 3.1.3 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

3.1.3. But since a rational animal not only has within itself these natural movements, but has moreover, to a greater extent than other animals, the power of reason, by which it can judge and determine regarding natural movements, and disapprove and reject some, while approving and adopting others, so by the judgment of this reason may the movements of men be governed and directed towards a commendable life. And from this it follows that, since the nature of this reason which is in man has within itself the power of distinguishing between good and evil, and while distinguishing possesses the faculty of selecting what it has approved, it may justly be deemed worthy of praise in choosing what is good, and deserving of censure in following that which is base or wicked. This indeed must by no means escape our notice, that in some dumb animals there is found a more regular movement than in others, as in hunting-dogs or war-horses, so that they may appear to some to be moved by a kind of rational sense. But we must believe this to be the result not so much of reason as of some natural instinct, largely bestowed for purposes of that kind. Now, as we had begun to remark, seeing that such is the nature of a rational animal, some things may happen to us human beings from without; and these, coming in contact with our sense of sight, or hearing, or any other of our senses, may incite and arouse us to good movements, or the contrary; and seeing they come to us from an external source, it is not within our own power to prevent their coming. But to determine and approve what use we ought to make of those things which thus happen, is the duty of no other than of that reason within us, i.e., of our own judgment; by the decision of which reason we use the incitement, which comes to us from without for that purpose, which reason approves, our natural movements being determined by its authority either to good actions or the reverse. 3.1.3. The rational animal, however, has, in addition to its phantasial nature, also reason, which judges the phantasies, and disapproves of some and accepts others, in order that the animal may be led according to them. Therefore, since there are in the nature of reason aids towards the contemplation of virtue and vice, by following which, after beholding good and evil, we select the one and avoid the other, we are deserving of praise when we give ourselves to the practice of virtue, and censurable when we do the reverse. We must not, however, be ignorant that the greater part of the nature assigned to all things is a varying quantity among animals, both in a greater and a less degree; so that the instinct in hunting-dogs and in war-horses approaches somehow, so to speak, to the faculty of reason. Now, to fall under some one of those external causes which stir up within us this phantasy or that, is confessedly not one of those things that are dependent upon ourselves; but to determine that we shall use the occurrence in this way or differently, is the prerogative of nothing else than of the reason within us, which, as occasion offers, arouses us towards efforts inciting to what is virtuous and becoming, or turns us aside to what is the reverse.
18. Stobaeus, Anthology, 4.660.15-664.18 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
animals, impressions of Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
animals, in wise person Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
animals (general) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
appropriation (oikeiōsis), individual Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
appropriation (oikeiōsis) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
aristotle, on impressions Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
beliefs, terms for Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
body / bodies (corporeal, material, matter, physical) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
brain, in ancient physiology Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
choice (hairesis) / choosing (haireisthai) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
chrysippus, on directive faculty Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
chrysippus, treatises of, on the psyche Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
cicero Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
city (polis) / citizen Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
cleanthes, on impressions Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
creation / creatures / create Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
determinism and free will Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
doctrines (dogma, decreta) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
epictetus Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
hierocles, editions of Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
hierocles Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
identity viii Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
impressions Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
knowledge, vs. opinion Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
lekton Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
medical writers, greek, influence on stoics Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
mind, relation to body Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
peripateticism / peripatetic Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
plato, on mind and spirit Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
pleasure Celykte, The Stoic Theory of Beauty (2020) 40
plutarch Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
praxagoras of cos Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
propositions Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
psyche, self-perception Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
sayable (lekton) Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
self-perception' Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
self-perception Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
self / selfhood (identity) Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
seneca Celykte, The Stoic Theory of Beauty (2020) 40; Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
stobaeus Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
stoicism / stoic / stoa Lee, Moral Transformation in Greco-Roman Philosophy of Mind: Mapping the Moral Milieu of the Apostle Paul and His Diaspora Jewish Contemporaries (2020) 376
wax seals Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226
wise person, epistemic condition Graver, Stoicism and Emotion (2007) 226